Soft, chewy and full of flavor, these Farmhouse Molasses Cookies are the epitome of a Christmas Cookie. This recipe comes from my Grandma Hayes, who is the best baker on the planet … (I have over a dozen cousins that will back up that statement!). Every Christmas we would go to Grandma Hayes’ farm, in Upstate New York and my cousins and I would sit around her huge, farmhouse-style table, and sample all the cookies she made. Every year, these were always my favorite. I continue with my Grandmother’s Christmas cookie tradition and bake these every year. Cut them into whatever shapes you want, but I always prefer to make them into little gingerbread men. You can also add some frosting and cinnamon candies for a little more detail. Pair these cookies with coffee or tea on a cold winter’s day, for a delicious treat.
*Since this is a secret family recipe I will not post the original here. I found a very similar one from Epicurious, that I tweaked a little. Enjoy!
6 cups (about) all purpose flour
1 1/4 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon salt
11 tablespoons (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses
1 large egg
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup
Food coloring (optional)
Decorations (such as cinnamon Red Hots)
- For dough:
Combine 5 1/4 cups flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt in medium bowl; whisk to blend well. Using electric mixer, beat butter and shortening in large bowl to blend. Add 1 cup sugar, molasses, and beat until smooth. Beat in egg and buttermilk. Stir 2 teaspoons water and baking soda in small cup to blend; beat into butter mixture. Beat in flour mixture in 2 additions. Stir in more flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until slightly firm dough forms. Divide dough into 3 equal parts. Shape each into disk. Wrap disks and chill until firm enough to roll, at least 2 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated. Soften slightly before rolling out.)
- Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough between sheets of waxed paper to 16×12-inch rectangle, occasionally lifting paper to smooth out wrinkles. Using 4- to 5-inch cutters, cut out boy and girl gingerbread people. Pull away excess dough around cutouts; flatten, wrap, and chill excess dough. Slide rimless baking sheet or inverted baking sheet under waxed paper with cutouts and chill until firm. Repeat with remaining dough disks, refrigerating cutouts on waxed paper on baking sheets. Roll out excess dough and make more cookies, using all of dough. (Cutout cookies can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; keep chilled.)
- Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Using thin metal spatula, lift chilled cookies off waxed paper and transfer to baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake until darker at edges and just firm to touch in center, about 12 minutes. Cool on sheet 5 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely. Bake remaining cookies, 1 sheet at a time.